GMAC Insurance, the nation’s leading RV insurance provider, has issued a list of the top five RV claims. We’ve added tips to help you avoid them.
1. Refrigerator fires and propane tanks. GMAC Insurance receives at least 400 claims per year due to refrigerator fires caused by leaking propane connections.
How to avoid it? Check your propane lines and connections each year …and any other time you smell propane. Apply a solution of LP leak detector around all propane fittings. If there is a leak the small bubbles will grow into larger bubbles. Tighten the fitting and repeat the leak test. Don’t feel qualified? Have your propane system checked by a certified RV technician.
2. Hitting service stations and other overhangs.
How to avoid it? Be aware and never assume your RV will clear an overhang. Create a constant reminder by posting your RV’s height on your dashboard. Don’t trust the manufacturer’s brochure, measure the height yourself and add 6 inches for safety. Always be aware of the space around you.
3. Forgetting to retract steps and awnings.
How to avoid it? Use a pre-trip checklist that includes a reminder to retract the awnings, steps, TV antenna, etc. Just before you are ready to drive off do one more walk-around.
4. Tire blowouts. The primary causes of tire blow-outs are: over and under inflating tires and old tires wearing out.
How to avoid it? Protect tires from the sun’s damaging rays whenever practical. Check your tire pressure regularly. Don’t overload your RV. Inspect your tires regularly for uneven tread wear, bulges, checking and other irregularities. Purchase new tires every seven years, regardless of mileage or visible wear.
5. Animal infestation. When RVs sit over the winter months, mice and squirrels like to make your RV their home. They chomp through wires and lines, debilitating the entire vehicle.
How to avoid it? Inspect the underside of your RV for any gaps or holes mice and other rodents can use for entry. Keep in mind they can get through very small holes. Fill any holes using silicone, caulk or expanding foam. Store your RV on pavement. Check your motorhome engine compartment weekly to run squirrels off.
RVers have long used mothballs to repel rodents and other critters but in recent years Bounce dryer sheets have gained favor. Those RVers who use the dryer sheets say they work better than mothballs and smell better too.
You may want to read the following articles:
Propane Safety Tips for RVers and Recreational Vehicles
RV Campground Departure Checklist
RV Tire Care – The Basics
Determining RV Tire Age by Date Code
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